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111998Volume 11, Issue3May/June 1998

About the Observer

The Observer is the online magazine of the Association for Psychological Science and covers matters affecting the research, academic, and applied disciplines of psychology. The magazine reports on issues of interest to psychologist scientists worldwide and disseminates information about the activities, policies, and scientific values of APS.

APS members receive a monthly Observer newsletter that covers the latest content in the magazine. Members also may access the online archive of Observer articles going back to 1988.

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    Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disasters like Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut draw massive media coverage, trauma interventions, and financial donations to victims. But psychological research shows the efforts don’t always yield the intended benefits.

Up Front

  • A Decade Down, A Millennium To Go

    It's hard to believe that my year as president of APS has come to a close. It was a very good year! Although the nature of APS operations means that my travel schedule was not much fuller than usual (I was in Washington only once, for example, between the two conventions), the virtual reality of APS activity meant that the goals and the activities of APS were always on my agenda. Modern technology (email and FAX) and not so modern technology (old fashioned mail and telephone calls) allow APS to be vibrant and active as well as remarkably cost effective. APS is now 10 years old, and it is remarkable to see how far we have come. In this first decade, our membership has grown to more than 15,000 members; we have successfully launched two journals that are already among the most influential in our field; and we have accomplished many projects on the Washington funding scene.


More From This Issue


    Every four years since the early 1970s, the National Academy of Sciences has convened a group of distinguished leaders in science to study training needs in health research. And every four years the group issues a report recommending specific numbers of the National Research Service Awards (NRSA) in various disciplines. It costs a lot of federal money and takes a lot of time on the part of some very busy people to develop these reports The most recent report, issued in 1994, recommended increasing NRSAs for behavioral scientists (as well as for researchers in nursing, oral health, and health services) while holding level the awards for biomedical scientists.

  • Where There’s Smoke … There’s Health Research

    You know that tobacco settlement everybody's all fired up about? Well, we want you to get in the habit of paying attention to what happens, because it could mean a couple of billion dollars for health research — a good portion of which could go to behavioral research. Congress took the first step down Tobacco Road in April when the Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation to change how tobacco is regulated and to require tobacco companies to pay billions for past harm. Among other things, money from the settlement would fund an enormous increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in FY 99 (see the March 1998 Observer for details).

  • Summit 98

    When representatives from more than 90 of the world's leading behavioral science organizations convene a few years before the new millennium, you can expect talk to center around the future. What you may not expect, though, is for there to be such a strong consensus among so many organizations on what it will take to further the science, application, and communication of psychology in the coming years. But that is just what happened when, for a few days in the beginning of May, more than 150 representatives of more than 90 organizations and institutions met at the University of California-Santa Barbara for the 1998 Summit of Psychological Science Societies.